Buckling of elastomer sheets under non-uniform electro-actuation
Dielectric elastomer sheets undergo in-plane expansion when stimulated by a transverse electric field. We study experimentally how dielectric plates subjected to a non-uniform voltage distribution undergo buckling instabilities. Two different configurations involving circular plates are investigated: plates freely floating on a bath of water, and plates clamped on a frame. We describe theoretically the out-of-plane deformation of the plates within the framework of weakly non-linear plate equations. This study constitutes a first step of a route to control the 3D activation of dielectric elastomers.